CLU students win $10,000 at Startup Weekend

A team of California Lutheran University students won big at Startup Weekend, an entrepreneurship event held in Ventura County, by presenting an innovative device that is meant to monitor patient health. They are set to receive $10,000 once their project is ready to be incorporated.

According to an article published in The Pacific Coast Times, “About 65 entrepreneurs from around the region participated in the event. Nine teams developed businesses from a 60-second pitch on a Friday that was refined into a five-minute pitch Sunday evening.”    Entrepreneurship Club President Robert Kyler headed the project with students Ryan Angel, John Ikudaisi and Alexis Schomer in the hopes of giving insurance companies a way to track a patient’s progress during physical therapy.

“There are a lot of factors that go into the project, mainly just constructing a prototype. It uses a combination of sensors and monitors to tell you analytics about how your tendons and joints are doing. It’s a sleeve that connects to a healthcare management software,” Kyler said.

Kyler also said since there’s a lot of fraud in the worker’s compensation program all across the United States, a possible goal of the project is to start diminishing these high numbers. The project itself will continue to be developed by the same students as they begin to do more research in the medical field and learn more about physical therapy.

“They devised a clever solution to a big problem, delivered a wonderful investor pitch and won a contest against a very impressive field of teams. Rep Watch will be participating in the Cal Lutheran New Venture Competition and will represent Cal Lutheran at the California Dreamin’ National Competition at Chapman University later in April,” Michael Panesis, executive director of the entrepreneurship center, said in an email interview.

The team is not seeking to include Cal Lutheran students who study in the sciences as they are in the process of developing core strategies for themselves, according to Schomer and Angel. The event itself proved to be stressful since the team had less than 52 hours to implement a successful presentation.

“I was inspired by my membership in the club. We all motivate each other to think outside the box and participate in these events,” Schomer said. “It was my first one. If anyone has an idea and you’re passionate about it, go for it, because if you put enough work into it you’ll be successful.” 

“This time it was a little different because the first competition I went to was all students, this time it had doctors and professionals. Once we formed a group, two of our members ended up leaving before our actual presentation, which was a big challenge,” Angel said.

According to Angel, the members were a journalist who was just working on an article and a concussion specialist who couldn’t attend the event, but provided research for the presentation.

People who are injured and attending physical therapy can focus more on their recoveries, an idea that the entire team is now focusing on more dutifully.

Startup Weekend is a great experiential learning opportunity. It gives participants a concentrated understanding of what it’s like to launch a startup,” Panesis said.

The Cal Lutheran Entrepreneurship Club meets every Tuesday at the Westlake Center.

Mario Granados
Staff Writer
Published April 6th, 2016